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A Strigilated Universe: The Cosmogonic Significance of Primordial Gravitation Radiation
Fellow's Public Forum with Dr. Kirk Wegter-McNelly
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In 2015, for the first time ever, scientists announced the detection of gravitational waves spun out into the universe by the merger of two black holes. Numerous detection events have since been recorded, and upgrades continue to increase experimental sensitivity. There is one important class of gravitational waves, however, that still eludes scientists: the so-called primordial gravitational waves likely to have been produced in the earliest moments of our universe. Observation of these waves—the gravitational equivalent of the cosmic microwave background, though significantly older—could reveal much about the origin of the visible universe. In this presentation I review these developments and discuss their implications for our understanding of how the visible universe began. I also discuss a related tension in the construction of theories of the early universe that sheds light on the challenge of doing physics on “the whole.”
Dr. Kirk Wegter-McNelly, Dona and Marshall Robinson Assistant Professor of Science, Philosophy and Religion at Union College, in Schenectady, New York, is a theologian whose work focuses primarily on the implications of contemporary physics for our understanding of humanity, the cosmos and God. He is the author of The Entangled God: Divine Relationality and Quantum Physics (Routledge, 2011) and co-editor of two volumes: Quantum Mechanics: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (VO/CTNS, 2002) and Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists (Routledge, 2002).
This is an event of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.
This event is online only